Tuesday, Dec 18th

LATEST:
You are here: People Entertainment Cuban chefs visit Miami seeking recipe for business success

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Cuban chefs visit Miami seeking recipe for business success

cubanchefsMIAMI--Cuban chef Michael Alejandro Calvo Oviedo was trained in France and knows how to cook, but the Miami kitchens where he has spent the last few days working have made his eyes pop.

"You go to the supermarket in Cuba and there's only fish, so that's what you cook," said the 37-year-old chef of Havana's Atelier restaurant. "Here you have everything."

Calvo is one of four chefs from private restaurants in Cuba who were invited to spend a week in Miami honing their business acumen and blending culinary cultures as relations between the two countries slowly warm.

Private restaurants, known as "paladares," cropped up in people's homes during Cuba's economic crisis in the 1990s. They have gained official approval as the Communist government takes cautious steps to reduce the role of the state in the economy.

"The idea here is that we're exposing people to the realities of what these people face in Cuba, but at the same time giving them an opportunity to learn and showcase their cooking," said Tomas Bilbao, executive director of the Cuba Study Group.

The group, which favours the warming of ties between the United States and Cuba, organized the trip with $50,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the help of some of Miami's top chefs. Following a historic agreement last December, the two countries last month restored diplomatic relations after 54 years. The U.S. flag was ceremoniously raised again at the embassy in Havana on Friday.

Miami is home to a large Cuban exile population which is divided about president Barack Obama's policy of engagement with the island, with older Cuban-Americans still bitter over the 1959 Revolution led by Fidel Castro.

Calvo, whose cooking blends French and Caribbean styles, has the kitchen skills to run a restaurant, but says he lacks the financial know-how to thrive as Cuba opens up its economy to private enterprise. "I need to learn how to do the accounting, how to drive costs down," he said.

He studied cooking at France's legendary Institut Paul Bocuse on the outskirts of Lyon. Back in Havana, that experience translated into plates like a spin on France's duck a l'orange featuring sour orange, minty hierbabuena, and mildly spicy Caribbean peppers.

He hopes the experience will put him in a good position if Cuba's controls over private businesses loosen further. "We need it to be easier for the private sector in Cuba sustain itself long term," he said.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...